I feel I must begin with a caveat – what I will be discussing in this post is how things are under current law. Things may change when the cafones in Trenton pass the new fiscal year budget in probably June.
FYI, the PTR-1 and PTR-2 blue-covered application packages should be going out in the mail by mid-February. I expect the initial filing deadline will again be June 1, 2011, but, based on past history, this deadline could be extended through the end of 2011.
You qualify for a 2010 property tax reimbursement if -
• as of December 31st of both 2009 and 2010 you, or your co-owner spouse, was age 65 or older or receiving federal Social Security disability benefits, and
• you lived in New Jersey, as either a homeowner or tenant, continuously since before January 1, 2000, and
• you owned and lived in the home for which you are claiming a reimbursement of the property tax increase since before January 1, 2007, and
• you paid in full the total amount of property tax due on your home for 2009 by June 1, 2010, and for 2010 by June 1, 2011, and
• your gross income for 2009 and 2010 was $80,000 or less.
For purposes of the 2010 application, the income limitation for 2009 and 2010 is $80,000. It is $80,000 for 2009 and $80,000 for 2010. If you otherwise qualify for the reimbursement, but either your 2009 gross income or your 2010 gross income (which includes just about everything – including 100% of Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits, unemployment, lottery winnings, etc and NOT just your NJ Gross Income) is over $80.000, you are out of luck.
For the 2009 Property Tax Reimbursement, even though you qualified for the reimbursement and filled out an application (PTR-1), you did not receive a reimbursement check in 2010 if you did not receive a reimbursement check in 2009 (for tax year 2008).
If you did indeed qualify and complete a PTR-1 application last year - while you did not get a reimbursement check you did establish your “base year” for the program. So when you submit your application for 2010 your “base year” will be 2008. You should receive a PTR-2 application in the mail next month.
As part of the PTR-2 application you must verify that you have paid in full all of the 2010 taxes assessed on the property (on the PTR-1 you must prove that you paid all of 2009’ and 2010’s property taxes) either directly, via mortgage escrow, or by a senior or veteran’s credit. The best way, and the way that the State of New Jersey prefers, is to include the PTR-1A or PTR-2A form with the application. This is a form that you take to the Real Estate Tax office of your local municipality to have filled out and stamped.
For the information of my clients - I do not prepare the Property Tax Reimbursement applications (PTR-1 or PTR 2). However I will, if requested, provide the appropriate income information for the back of the application form based on your 2010 federal income tax return.
One problem with being a tax preparer - clients, and the public, assume that because you are proficient in completing one type of federal and state form (the individual income tax return) you are proficient in filling out all federal, all state and various other forms and applications.
I prepare federal and certain state individual income tax returns for a fee because I have the training and experience, and desire, to do so. I, and probably your tax professional, have absolutely no training or experience in preparing student financial aid applications, census forms, state senior citizen prescription or utility assistance applications, mortgage applications, etc, etc, etc. Nor do I, and perhaps your tax pro as well (although some do), have any desire whatsoever to learn how to prepare these forms and applications. As I tell clients who ask – it is not that I don’t want to help, but I do not know any more about these forms or applications than you do, and perhaps actually less, and I don’t want to risk your potential benefits by filling them out incorrectly.
Back to the NJ Property Tax Reimbursement program – you can get more information on the program at the NJ Division of Taxation website. Click here.